Koji Uehara’s rehabilitation from a strained left hamstring will take an important step on Monday, when he jogs for the first time since he hurt himself. The veteran hurt himself a week ago but is still confident that he’ll be ready in time for Opening Day.
“As long as I can have three more starts, it will be enough,” he said.
Uehara, who is attempting to make the stateside transition, said that one major difference will be the frequency with which he throws. The right-hander pitched once a week in Japan but will be expected to throw every five days with the Orioles. And with his hamstring injury, he might not be able to get in as much practice as he’d like.
Still, Uehara said that he’ll be ready when the regular season bell rings. Japanese pitchers typically throw more on the side than American pitchers, and Uehara said that he’s played long enough to know how to adapt his preparation schedule.
“That’s one thing I have to try and work on and concentrate on,” he said of pitching more frequently. “In Japan, they throw more, obviously. …Unlike many Japanese pitchers, I’m not the type of pitcher who likes to throw as often. So it hasn’t bothered me as much.”